Keywords: ambiguity, uncertainty, emotion regulation, habituation, brain science
Some people struggle with uncertainty and ambiguity more than others. The question as to what makes the difference between people who automatically have a negative response to uncertainty and ambiguity and people who either have a neutral or positive response to such situations is an important one.
Previous studies have found that, despite a range of reactions to ambiguity and uncertainty (from wholly negative through to positive), the initial cognitive and emotional response is always negative. Studies in 2016 found that reaction times to ambiguous situations are significantly longer when an individual has a positive response to it compared to people who have immediate negative response. This suggests there is some additional processing going on in the brain, it is assumed, in order to turn the initial response to the ambiguous situation into a positive one.
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